Lent Day 11: Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent— The Aggravation of the Sacred Agony.
The Aggravation of the Sacred Agony.
Read St. Mark xiv. 32-42.
 And they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray.  And he taketh Peter and James and John with him; and he began to fear and to be heavy.  And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch.  And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him.
 And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.  And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour?  Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words.  And when he returned, he found them again asleep, (for their eyes were heavy,) and they knew not what to answer him.
 And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough: the hour is come: behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go. Behold, he that will betray me is at hand.
1. If it is difficult to suffer, it is far more difficult to suffer willingly for those who show no gratitude in return for what we endure for them. But most difficult, nay, impossible, save to one who is himself divine, or else shares the divine charity of the Son of God, to suffer for those who requite our love with hatred, our sufferings with bitter mockery, the favors we win for them by outrages and insults. It was this that crushed to the earth the Son of God. Alas! how ungrateful I am to Him!
2. During His sacred Agony He took upon Himself the sins of the whole world. Not in a general way, but individually, so that each and every sin, from the first sin of Adam to the last that shall be committed on the eve of the judgment, was present before Him; and not only present, but each added its own pang. The great black cloud which passed before His soul contained each sin of each individual man, woman, and child, and Christ suffered for each. What a frightful thing it must be to commit deliberately even the least sin, if thereby we add fresh pain to the agony of Jesus!
3. It was in this way that “He was made sin for us,” i.e., He identified Himself with sin as far as it was possible for the Immaculate Lamb of God. He took upon Him all the effects of sin except those which necessarily belong to him who is guilty of the act of sin. All the darkness, all the gloom, the despondency, the loss of God, the feeling of hopelessness, the terror, which arise from sin inundated His sacred soul.
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